George N. M.

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About George N. M.

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Laramie, Wyoming
  • Interests
    Blacksmthing, camping, hiking, historical reenactment

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  1. Slag, Excellent suggestion. This is particularly valuable if the smith is charging by the hour and the client has 2d thoughts and doesn't want the project. The client only has to pay for the time the smith has put into the project up to the date of termination. Also, if a smith is doing a project for an organization or even a couple a single point of contact clause is a good idea so that the smith is not getting conflicting instructions from more than one person. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  2. One more thought: If you accept a large project/order make sure that it is something that can keep your own interest and motivation. You don't want to get burned out on it/bored halfway through a project. I once accepted and delivered an order for 500 hand forged nails. It has been 35 years and I still hate making nails and only do so when necessary for another project such as a wall hanger. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  3. Another way of pricing a large project is by the hour rather than by the total project. You can say "I charge $X per hour and I THINK that this will take me Y hours but that is only an estimate." Then, you get a partial payment up front and the remainder on delivery. This is how many other professionals charge for their time and skill, lawyers, architects, engineers, etc.. The lawyer may say that he/she will do a divorce for $Z per hour and that you have to put up a $Y retainer and after the retainer is 80% used up at the $Z/hour rate he/she will start billing you. Your overhead of soft costs is rolled into your hourly rate just as it is for the hypothetical lawyer who has to pay the secretary, pay professional fees, pay the rent or mortgage on the office, etc.. The rule of thumb for private practice attorneys is that half of the hourly rate goes for overhead and half goes into your pocket. Your hourly rate is also determined by how many hours you think you can realistically bill in a year. Also, if the project cost is over a certain amount, say $1000, you want to have a written contract. This minimizes the possibility of you putting a lot of time and materials into a project and have the customer, at the end, say that he or she has changed their mind and don't want it. A written contract makes it much easier to take legal action. It doesn't have to be complex but just set out what you both agree on. Again, for large projects you can bill periodically, perhaps monthly, for the time and materials you have put into the project that month. This helps keep a long term project in both your and the customer's minds. You will bust it a few times, we all have. If you over estimate too much you can always accept less as your final payment. If you underestimate you have just paid tuition on experience and hopefully have learned how to be more accurate for the next project/customer. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  4. Dear CGL, Your heavy weight horseshoe wind chime is a relative of what we call a Wyoming wind sock. You attach a length of log chain to a fence post and judge how strong the wind is by how many links of the chain the wind is lifting. e.g. "It's a might breezy today. I'd call it a 4 link breeze." You can also use it for other weather conditions. Dripping: rain, icicles: freezing, on fire: lightning, gone: tornado. Glenn, I consider my bench book as messages down the time stream to a future me. It keeps me from forgetting whether a miner's candle stick starts off with an 18" or 20" piece of 1/4" stock. If it has been awhile since I made something it is nice to have a message from my past self to remind me of the details and not have to design and experiment from the ground up. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  5. Dear Eventlessbox, Nice work. Is that a forge weld between the hook and the shaft? The hook should be at the exact point of balance. Also, I suggest a sharper tip since miners' candlesticks (aka tommy stickers) were designed to be pounded into a crack in the rock or a mine timber. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  6. My little guy is now 28 and 6'1". I keep wondering what happened to that little boy I used to carry around on my shoulders. One thing to keep in mind is that grandparents and grandchildren get on so well because they share a common enemy. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  7. I agree with the suggestion to use tongs where the stonger the pulling force the tighter the tongs grip the log. It's like old ice tongs that way. Although, I'm dating myself by admitting that I even know what ice tongs are. That said, you and your friend are dealing with some very heavy weights with water logged logs. A 2.5' by 25' long log contains 122.65 cubic feet of wood, dried lodgepole pine weights 29 pounds per cubic foot, water weights 62.42 pounds per cubic foot, assuming 50% of a waterlogged log is made up of water and 50% wood you are looking at a total weight of about 7385 pounds per log, about 3.7 tons. So, if you are making or buying tongs or hooks bigger is better. You don't want to straighten anything out the hard way. Also, make sure your chain or straps are heavy enough to take the strain of the pulling force. Good luck. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  8. If you find that you are burning the thin socket metal or in the drawing out of the socket the metal is getting too thin and you want more metal available start with square stock rather than round which will give you about 21.5% more metal to start with. Once you develop the muscle memory for making arrow heads you can turn them out pretty quickly. When starting with mild steel stock I often quench the point area in Super Quench (you can look up the recipe on google) which hardens mild steel surprisingly well. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  9. It looks like it could accommodate a gloved trigger finger. You would have been justified in the effort just to get rid of a plastic trigger guard. The idea is offensive. I doubt that using plastic saved the manufacturer any more than $1/gun. Ackk! "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  10. Dear Tanglediver, I just can't help being a historical pedant but this would be the 398th Thanksgiving. The original one was a harvest festival in 1621. The Separatists (they weren't called Pilgims until the 19th century) got off the Mayflower too late in 1620 to plant and harvest crops. So, 1621 was their first harvest in the New World. My apologies for picking a historical nit but I'm afraid that I can't help myself. That said Happy Turkey Day to one and all. This is the one day when gluttony is a virtue. And we all have more to be thankful for than not. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand"
  11. I use a .50 caliber armor piercing core as a center punch. The way you can tell a tungsten carbide core from a steel core is that the AP core does not have a groove around it because it is designed to shed its copper jacket on impact. A regular ball round with a steel core has a groove to help retain the copper jacket. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  12. possible ashtray. Looks like a promotional item given to customers as a good will token. ""By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  13. Not all coals are susceptible to dust explosions, some are "dustier" than others. However, many coals, particularly if wet, are subject to spontaneous combustion. This was a significant issue with coal fired steamships and is still a problem anywhere with large piles of coal stored. Also, quenching hot steel hardens it but doing the same to copper and copper alloys, e.g. bronze, softens the metal. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  14. Yes, everything is more expensive now than then but when complaining about that (complaining about the cost of things today is part of the job description for curmudgeons) actual inflation has to be worked in. I bought my first forge and anvil (a 100# Vulcan) for $25 each in 1978. Today, with inflation, that would be a bit under $100 each, still a bargain but at least that is 2019 dollars. In a sense, it is a good thing that black smithing tools are in demand and because of that are getting expensive. That means the craft has more practitioners who are wanting a limited number of tools. It's simple supply and demand. And has been pointed out, it is the skill and experience of the smith that are the major contributor to producing a successful object. Fancy tools just make it a bit easier and faster. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  15. No, I haven't seen the article but the markings are kind of a dumb thing for a faker to get wrong since the bore dimensions and weight of round shot are pretty accessible. It would be more difficult if you were dealing with named types of guns such as a falcon or saker. Yes, more likely to be used on your own guns that to allow them to be used by the enemy. BTW, the term "spiking" is still used for disabling your own guns if threatened with capture by the enemy even though an actual spike hasn't been used for about 150 years. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."